The popular Fall Market and Newman Eats returns to downtown Newman starting on Friday.

The event partners up local vendors and downtown eateries in an effort to bring shoppers and diners to the area. it was an idea cooked up last year as the pandemic continued to take an exacting toll on restaurants.

“The city manager came to me with the idea and it grew from there,” said Newman Chamber of Commerce President Michael Passarelli. “It was an idea to see if we could breathe a lifeline to the restaurants in downtown.”

The market will be located at Main and Fresno streets and will open at 4 p.m. Friday.

Shoppers will find handmade crafts, gifts, candles, jewelry, wreaths, home decor and other items from artisans and vendors both local and from other regions.

There also will be informational booths, like Cause for Paws.

The downtown restaurants will be open with outdoor seating starting around 4 p.m. In addition to the restaurants there will be pop-up eateries offering a variety of dishes, including barbecue, seafood, Kona ice, peanut brittle and El Salvadorian pupusas.

“There are crazy good,” said Passarelli, who has tried them himself.

Produce and food vendors will be in plenty numbers. Shoppers will be able to find berries, olive oil, honey, hummus, pitas and a variety of fruits, nuts and vegetables grown by local farmers.

“You can’t go away hungry from this market,” Passarelli said.

The Newman Eats and Fall Market proved to be a wildly popular event last year, especially as people were anxious to get out of their homes.

“That first market Northern California was on fire, so the air quality was horrible,” Passarelli said. “It was hazy, ashy and smoky and yet so many people came out for it. People really wanted to get out and do something.

“I’m really proud of how the community has continued to come out and support the vendors and restaurants,” Passarelli said.

The market starts its run on Friday and will continue each Friday night through Oct. 22. Vendors usually close down by 8 p.m. and food is typically still available till 10 p.m. Vehicles parked on Main and Fresno streets will need to be moved by 3 p.m. Friday.

Anyone interested in having a booth at a future market can call (209) 862-3200 for more information.